India third highest contributor to piracy websites visits in 2022: Report

India is ranked third after the US and Russia, in visits to content piracy websites with over 7 billion visits through torrent sites in 2022.

Lata Jha
First Published6 Feb 2023, 11:00 PM IST
India third highest contributor to piracy websites visits in 2022: Report
India third highest contributor to piracy websites visits in 2022: Report

India has been ranked third in the list of highest contributors of visits to content piracy websites with over 7 billion visits through torrent sites in 2022, according to a report by global advisory firm Ankura. Spider-Man: No Way Home was the most pirated movie in India in 2022, while Game of Thrones was the most pirated series. KGF: Chapter 2 and RRR were the most pirated local movies. The report that tracks piracy across music, movies, software and books, says individuals and organised groups circulate such content through messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp.

Globally, there has been a 21.9% increase in piracy sites visits in 2022 as compared to 2021, with the number of visits rising from 116.24 billion to 141.7 billion.

India is ranked as the third highest contributor, after the US and Russia, of visits to content piracy websites with over 7 billion (7,99,071,291) visits through torrent sites in 2022, the report said. In India, online content piracy is a significant issue, particularly in the film and music industries. The country has a large population of Internet users, and access to high-speed Internet is becoming more widely available, which has led to an increase in the number of people accessing pirated content.

“In India, piracy can be traced to individuals as well as organised groups who can capture content through screen grabs or by recording on phones in movie theatres and distribute it further,” Amit Jaju, senior managing director at Ankura said. A lot of pirated content is available on messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp, Jaju said, which circulate information about torrent sites or aggregator apps that ordinarily may not be found on Google Play Store.

Last September, the Delhi high court had ordered Telegram to disclose the details of channels involved in a copyright infringement case in the country after the Dubai-headquartered firm argued, unsuccessfully, that doing so would violate its privacy policy with users.

Mint had earlier reported that video streaming platforms in India are losing 25-30% of overall revenues to piracy, as addressable audiences continue to get access to content without credentials. Recently, it was found that shows like Scam 1992, Rocket Boys and Aashram, were circulating on torrent sites, rogue websites that mimic OTT platforms and on Telegram within hours of launch. Media and entertainment industry experts point out that challenges of piracy may worsen as foreign services like Netflix place curbs on password sharing.

Further, according to the report, TV content accounted for 46.6% of all traffic to piracy websites followed by publishing content (books) which accounted for 27.80%. Film piracy makes it to 12.40% followed by music and software which account for 7% and 6.20% respectively.

Spider-Man No way Home (25%) is the most pirated movie in India in 2022, along with The Batman (15%), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (14%), Jurassic World: Dominion (12%), RRR (6%), KGF: Chapter 2 (6%), Beast (6%) and Pushpa: The Rise-Part One (5%). Meanwhile, Game of Thrones (47%) is the most pirated TV series in India - 1573 and 17125 are the number of torrent downloads, used for pirating Spider-Man and Game of Thrones, respectively, the report said. KGF Chapter 2 (6%) and RRR (6%) are two of the most pirated local movies in India - 396 and 351 are the number of torrent sites for pirating them.

The Boys (9%), House of the Dragon (8%), Peaky Blinders (7%) and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (6%) were among the other most pirated TV series in India.

Linux 2022, Autodesk AutoCAD 2022, Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11.0.20, Adobe Premiere Pro 2020, and Microsoft Office 2021 Version 2108 Build 14326.20238 (x64) are some of the top most downloaded software from pirated torrent websites in India. Grand Theft Auto V, God of War, FIFA 19, Need for Speed – Payback. are some of the topmost downloaded games in India.

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First Published:6 Feb 2023, 11:00 PM IST
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